Car Audio Test: Honda Odyssey Touring Elite—Standard Audio

Infotainment, Reviews I By Tom Martin I December 14, 2011
Many of you may not know it, but Winding Road has several sister publications that play in the high-end audio space of the publishing world. We’ve decided that it was high time, then, that we unleashed the expertise of our audiophile reviewers into the often murky world of in-car audio. In each of our Car Audio Test reviews, you’ll find a concise summary of the stats, strengths, and weaknesses of the test car’s specific system that go far beyond the often irrelevant data provided by OEMs and the media alike. Be sure to check out Playback on, too, for even more content like this.
Car: 2012 Honda Odyssey TRG Elite
Audio System: Standard Sound
Features: AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3/DVD/Hard Disk; Dolby Pro-Logic;650 watt of amplification, 12 speakers
– Balance Of Bass/Midrange/Treble: 87
– Clarity: 85
– Low Distortion: 85
– Dynamic Power: 86
– Spaciousness: 79
– Background Quiet: 85
– User Interface: 83
Composite Score: 84
Testing Notes: Honda does its own audio systems, and as we’ve seen this shouldn’t count against them. This system sounds good, with a proper balance of bass/midrange/treble once you tone down the subwoofer. The sound is pleasingly clean, with particularly low distortion treble, but also above average bass definition. The cabin is quiet, helping you to hear subtleties, and the system will play quite loudly. Dynamics do, however, seem slightly reserved compared to the best systems available. Really, though, the only issue of note is the lack of a realistic soundstage for music in the front seat, with too much happening left and right and low down in the cabin, whether in stereo or Dolby Pro Logic II mode. For movies in the rear, on the double-wide, two-movies-at-a-time screen, the sound is focused on the image, though the sound quality is reduced from the description above.

The Guide to Road Racing: Winding Road Magazine's ultimate guide to getting your start in racing.

Table of Contents

Related Articles

Ferrari Purosangue: SUV or Not, We Love It

We’d hesitate to describe it as an ‘SUV’: It’s a Ferrari… just with four doors. But we’re obsessed!

March 09, 2023
Review: 2022 Mini Cooper SE Infotainment

The infotainment system is pretty conventional, dominated by Apple CarPlay and limited in scope by very few autonomous driving features.  The optional harman/kardon audio system is good but not amazing.

September 02, 2022
Audio Review: Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo

We rarely cover in-car audio and despite the Munich High‑End show being surrounded by automotive excellence (there’s a car museum just opposite and it sits…

July 06, 2022
Gearhead Theater: The Driver (1978)

Today we’re watching Walter Hill’s The Driver, a “neo-noir” style crime drama that centers around a wheelman for hire and the cat-and-mouse game he plays with the detective who wants to bring him to justice at any cost. But since this is Gearhead Theater, we’re going to level with you – we’re really here for the cars, and everything else beyond that is more or less an incidental bonus.

April 07, 2014
Car Audio Test: 2012 Fiat 500 Sport Hatchback

Testing Notes: As Bose systems go, this is one of the better ones, though a glance at our ratings will perhaps convey that this is faint praise indeed. That’s because this system still takes the life out of music by sanding off the nuances and details. In addition, the spatial presentation is disconcerting with sounds coming from the dash and shifted away from the driver. Unfortunately, one’s listening pleasure is further reduced because the Fiat 500 is far from the quietest car on the road and the single DIN head unit offers but a minimalist user interface. Still, this leaves this stereo in the “not bad” category much more than in the “outright offensive” zone.

April 06, 2012


Get the latest driving and racing news straight to your inbox.

no thanks

Begin typing your search above and press return to search.